On Friday, 20 January, Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, when meeting with the journalists who covered the events of the Barricades of 1991, pointed out: “The first independent Republic of Latvia that was established in 1918 existed for almost 22 years. This symbolic age is approaching once again. The times have definitely changed, and a military invasion of our country is almost impossible. In the 21st century there are other ways of undermining a free state and depriving people of it. Currently, certain politicians are stirring up people who have co-existed peacefully in Latvia for centuries.”
“We have to continue protecting our freedom that was regained twenty-two years ago at the Barricades,” said the Speaker. “The Russian language is spoken by 300 million people worldwide, the Latvian language by 1.3 million. Latvia is the only place on earth where we can protect the Latvian language.”
“Without the Latvian language, Latvia would be a different country with a different history,” noted Āboltiņa. “In order to protect it, we have to take part in the referendum and explain to people around us that the Latvian language unites rather than divides us.”
In her address to the participants of the ceremonial event, Speaker Āboltiņa stressed that “we had no doubts about what to do twenty-one years ago, and people of various ethnicities stood shoulder to shoulder at the Barricades. We have to be just as proud of our nation state today as we were then.”
The Speaker thanked the Awakening–time journalists for their valuable contribution in restoring Latvia’s independence; she urged them to act as patriotically now as they did back then by giving society what it needs for protecting the most precious thing we have – our land and state.
The meeting with journalists, cameramen and photographers who covered the events of the Barricades is an annual tradition established during the 8th Saeima. This year, the invitation was extended to 140 journalists. A bonfire was lit today next to the main building of the Saeima in honour of our country’s freedom defenders.
Photos from the event are available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/saeima/sets/72157628953694919/with/6730914861/
When using the material, please give credit to the Saeima Chancellery.
Saeima Press Service